Jason Guarente (@JasonGuarente)
An early-season tournament in South Carolina and 14 nationally televised games highlight the schedule for Temple’s men’s basketball team, released Thursday afternoon.
The Owls tip off with back-to-back matchups against Maryland Eastern Shore and USC at Liacouras Center Nov. 10 and 13.
Jeremiah Williams (above) and Temple put out their entire 2021-22 schedule Thursday afternoon. (Photo courtesy Temple athletics)
Those are the preamble for the three-game Shriners Childrens Charleston Classic Nov. 18-21. That features clashes against Clemson, Boise State or Saint Bonaventure and a third opponent to be determined.
Temple then returns home to play for local bragging rights. The next three games are against Delaware Nov. 27, La Salle Dec. 1 and Penn Dec. 4. Temple is 58-34 all-time against La Salle. Saint Joseph’s is the only team the Owls have defeated more often. Temple has won 25 of its 26 meetings against Delaware.
The first road games not at a neutral site are against Vanderbilt Dec. 7 and Saint Joseph’s four days later. That’s followed by home games against Central Florida in the American Athletic Conference opener Dec. 15, Drexel Dec. 18 and Delaware State Dec. 22. The final game of the month is at Villanova Dec. 29.
Temple has won 21 of its 24 matchups against Drexel. This will be the third meeting against Delaware State. The Owls took the first two.
A new year brings the bulk of conference play featuring alternating home and road games throughout January. The first is a home date with Houston Jan. 2 followed by a trip to Central Florida Jan. 5. Then it’s home against East Carolina Jan. 8, Wichita State Jan. 19 and Cincinnati Jan. 25. The road games are at Tulsa Jan. 12, at South Florida Jan. 22 and at SMU Jan. 29.
There are seven more AAC games in February. The home dates are against Tulsa Feb. 5, SMU Feb. 16 and Tulane Feb. 27. The road matchups are at East Carolina Feb. 2, at Tulane Feb. 12, at Cincinnati Feb. 20 and at Memphis Feb. 24.
The regular season concludes with two conference games the following month: at Houston March 2 and home against South Florida March 6. The AAC Tournament is scheduled for March 10-13 at Fort Worth, Texas.
"We are really happy with the balance of this schedule as it features non-conference games against USC and Vanderbilt, a challenging tournament in Charleston, and a local flavor with our Big Five rivals and area teams like Delaware and Drexel," Temple head coach Aaron McKie said in a statement. "It is the perfect blend to prepare our program for success this season."
McKie, a Temple and Simon Gratz alum who played for the Philadelphia 76ers, is entering his third season after replacing Fran Dunphy as head coach. McKie joined Dunphy’s staff in 2014. Temple went 14-17 in McKie’s first season and 5-11 last season, which had an abbreviated schedule due to COVID-19.
Temple returns its top four scorers, including Khalif Battle and Damian Dunn. Battle, a 6-foot-5 guard from Edison (N.J.) with sophomore eligibility, averaged 15 points, 6.4 rebounds, shot 80% at the foul line and was named third team All-AAC. Dunn, a 6-5 guard from Kinston (N.C.) who retains his redshirt freshman eligibility, was on the AAC All-Rookie team and scored 13.5 points per game.
Jake Forrester, a 6-9 forward from Harrisburg who played at Westtown School, returns for his junior season. He was third on the team at 9.3 points per game and the top rebounder at 6.4. Jeremiah Williams, a 6-5 guard from Chicago, was Temple’s leader and ranked fourth in the AAC with 4.1 assists per game as a true freshman. Williams averaged 9.3 points.
Thirteen of Temple’s 14 nationally televised games will be on ESPN platforms. All AAC games and Temple home against non-conference opponents that aren’t on linear TV will be broadcast on ESPN+.
Temple MBB 2021-22 schedule
Wednesday, Nov. 10 vs. Maryland Eastern Shore
Saturday, Nov. 13 vs. USC
Shriners Childrens Charleston Classic (at Charleston, S.C.)
Thursday, Nov. 18 vs. Clemson, 4 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 19 vs. Saint Bonaventure or Boise State
Sunday, Nov. 21 vs. TBD
Saturday, Nov. 27, vs. Delaware
Wednesday, Dec. 1 vs. La Salle
Saturday, Dec. 4 vs. Penn
Tuesday, Dec. 7 at Vanderbilt
Saturday, Dec. 11 at Saint Joseph’s
Wednesday, Dec. 15, vs. Central Florida*, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 18 vs. Drexel
Wednesday, Dec. 22 vs. Delaware State
Wednesday, Dec. 29 at Villanova, 9 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 2 vs. Houston, 5 p.m.*
Wednesday, Jan. 5 at Central Florida*
Saturday, Jan. 8 vs. East Carolina*
Wednesday, Jan. 12 at Tulsa*, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 19 vs. Wichita State*
Saturday, Jan. 22 at South Florida*, noon
Tuesday, Jan. 25 vs. Cincinnati*, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 29 at SMU*
Wednesday, Feb. 2 at East Carolina*
Saturday, Feb. 5 vs. Tulsa*
Saturday, Feb. 12 at Tulane*
Wednesday, Feb. 16 vs. SMU*, 9 p.m.
Sunday. Feb. 20 at Cincinnati*, 2 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 24 at Memphis*, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 27 vs. Tulane*, 3 p.m.
Thursday, March 3 at Houston*, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 6 vs. South Florida